Rideshare Drivers Win Minimum Wage Ordinance in  Minneapolis

Rideshare Drivers Win Minimum Wage Ordinance in Minneapolis

April 12th, 2024

In another David-vs-Goliath moment for Minnesota workers, a small, immigrant-led organization out of Minneapolis has taken a powerful swing at rideshare giants Uber and Lyft, drawing national attention. And while the outcome is still uncertain, this win by the workers of the Minneapolis Uber and Lyft Drivers Association (MULDA) is already reshaping what is considered possible in this deeply exploitative industry.

On March 7th, the Minneapolis City Council approved minimum pay requirements for rideshare drivers operating within the city limits, in response to tireless advocacy from MULDA (a Workers Confluence grantee) and in line with a Minnesota Department of Labor study showing that rideshare drivers’ effective rate of pay is below the Minneapolis minimum wage and has been falling. “Small businesses are required to pay minimum wages before tips, and it’s clear that billion dollar out-of-state tech companies should be too,” said City Councilmember Jason Chavez, a co-author of the ordinance (quoted in Fight Back News).

MULDA President and longtime rideshare driver Eid Ali explains that even though the prices charged to Uber and Lyft passengers have been going up, the amount that goes to drivers has been decreasing. “When they first came into the market, around 75% of the fare would go to the driver. But now close to 75% goes to the company.” Eid goes on to say that riders used to be able to see in the apps how much of their fare was going to the driver, but this transparency no longer exists. “This leads to animosity between drivers and the public. People think drivers are being greedy, and the apps encourage this belief. But when riders find out that they were charged $80 and only $24 of it is going to the driver, they see things differently.”

Due to MULDA members opening their eyes to this reality, the Minneapolis City Council has taken a stand. Whatever the ultimate outcome, we at Workers Confluence celebrate MULDA’s success in building power for this overlooked and exploited group of workers.

Read Part 2 for more on the Minneapolis ordinance and the challenges of organizing gig workers.

[Photo: MULDA President Eid Ali speaks at a press conference on April 12, 2024. Photo credit: Workers Confluence.]


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